The Best Work You May Never See: Stink Films, Don’t Panic Share "Rainbow" Vision In WaterAid PSA


Robert Goldrich
Friday, May. 22, 2020


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International charity WaterAid has worked with independent creative agency Don’t Panic to launch this “Bring water” campaign, highlighting the need for everyone everywhere to have clean water, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Staggeringly, one in ten people are denied access to clean water and one in four people don’t have a decent toilet of their own. Without these basic human rights, overcoming poverty is just a dream, as is good health and combating a deadly virus like COVID-19.

Johnty Gray, Mass Engagement Director, WaterAid said : “The rainbow has become a powerful symbol of hope and unity during the COVID-19 outbreak, highlighting how we are all facing this crisis together and therefore a global effort is required to tackle it. Yet we are not all equally equipped to fight the pandemic. Globally, one in four health centers have no clean water, putting health workers and their patients at increased risk of infection. Through our campaign, we are sharing the message that getting clean water to everyone everywhere is key to fighting the spread of disease – you need water to get a rainbow.”

In that vein, this campaign :60 titled “You Can’t Have a Rainbow Without Water”--shot in less than a week by a collection of Stink Films directors--captures rainbows and people throughout the world, in multiple locations (Moscow, London, LA, New York, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Florence, Shanghai, Tokyo, Argentina, Chicago and Johannesburg) on an array of recording devices; DV, phones, Reds and 5D’s and then patiently pieced together by Stitch editor, Paul O’Reilly to capture the hope that exists globally during this difficult time.

Katie Lambert, EP, Stink Films, said, “This film was challenging as we had to capture a lot of rainbows, across multiple locations, in only four days. It was intense and wouldn’t have been possible without the help of all of Stink’s offices around the world; it’s only due to our fantastic producers that we were able to pull this off and the very talented directors and photographers who are friends of Stink. On a personal note, it was lovely to receive all of these unique perspectives from people across the world. I am very thankful to everyone who was involved.”

This is the first piece of creative from Don’t Panic for WaterAid after winning the business at the beginning of January.  Joe Wade, founding partner, Don’t Panic, said “WaterAid, Stink and ourselves were united in the belief that no-one needs to see yet another advert with slow tracking shots of empty streets - or anything to do with Zoom! Having banned some of the obvious tropes of our times, and having access to WaterAid’s wonderful footage from the field, we were freed and able to create a film that’s upbeat and vibes but still manages to have emotional resonance. From the beginning the creative team wanted to use LCD Soundsystem ‘Oh Baby’; it has a pace and energy that would complement and bring the film together. As luck would have it, the band united behind the cause and gave permission for the track to be used.”


Client WaterAid Agency Don’t Panic Joe Wade, managing director; Rick Dodds, creative partner; Ellie Moore, strategy & engagement partner; Jennifer Clare Houlihan, sr. project manager & producer; George McCallum, associate creative director; Alice Dowdall, creative; Luke Freeman, graphic designer. Production Stink Films A MrMr Film, director; Blake Powell, exec producer; Katie Lambert, Martha McGuirk, producers. Editorial Stitch Paul O’Reilly, editor; Angela Hart, producer; Sam Ellen, edit assist. Postproduction Electric Theatre Collective Oliver Whitworth, exec producer; Jason Wallis, colorist; Mikko Ruostila, VFX artist. Audio GCRS Aaron Taffel, sound designer; Molly Butcher, producer. Music SIREN Track: “Oh Baby”; LCD Sound System, artist; Sean Craigie-Atherton, music supervisor.

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